scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Topic

Systems thinking

About: Systems thinking is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 6249 publications have been published within this topic receiving 138679 citations.


Papers
More filters
Book
01 Jan 1981
TL;DR: The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as discussed by the authors is an alternative approach which enables managers of all kinds and at any level to deal with the subtleties and confusions of the situations they face.
Abstract: Whether by design, accident or merely synchronicity, Checkland appears to have developed a habit of writing seminal publications near the start of each decade which establish the basis and framework for systems methodology research for that decade."" Hamish Rennie, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 1992 Thirty years ago Peter Checkland set out to test whether the Systems Engineering (SE) approach, highly successful in technical problems, could be used by managers coping with the unfolding complexities of organizational life. The straightforward transfer of SE to the broader situations of management was not possible, but by insisting on a combination of systems thinking strongly linked to real-world practice Checkland and his collaborators developed an alternative approach - Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) - which enables managers of all kinds and at any level to deal with the subtleties and confusions of the situations they face. This work established the now accepted distinction between hard systems thinking, in which parts of the world are taken to be systems which can be engineered, and soft systems thinking in which the focus is on making sure the process of inquiry into real-world complexity is itself a system for learning. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice (1981) and Soft Systems Methodology in Action (1990) together with an earlier paper Towards a Systems-based Methodology for Real-World Problem Solving (1972) have long been recognized as classics in the field. Now Peter Checkland has looked back over the three decades of SSM development, brought the account of it up to date, and reflected on the whole evolutionary process which has produced a mature SSM. SSM: A 30-Year Retrospective, here included with Systems Thinking, Systems Practice closes a chapter on what is undoubtedly the most significant single research programme on the use of systems ideas in problem solving. Now retired from full-time university work, Peter Checkland continues his research as a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow. "

7,467 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
J Swanson1
TL;DR: This book is most obviously relevant to practitioners who already have some experience of multiagency facilitation, but might also serve as an introduction to working in this arena, if carefully supplemented with further reading and exploration of the topics it covers.
Abstract: (2002). Business Dynamics—Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. Journal of the Operational Research Society: Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 472-473.

2,977 citations

01 May 2002
TL;DR: The field of system dynamics, created at MIT in the 1950s by Jay Forrester, is designed to help us learn about the structure and dynamics of complex systems in which we are embedded, design high-leverage policies for sustained improvement, and catalyze successful implementation and change as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Todays problems often arise as unintended consequences of yesterdays solutions. Social systems often suffer from policy resistance, the tendency for well-intentioned interventions to be defeated by the response of the system to the intervention itself. The field of system dynamics, created at MIT in the 1950s by Jay Forrester, is designed to help us learn about the structure and dynamics of the complex systems in which we are embedded, design high-leverage policies for sustained improvement, and catalyze successful implementation and change. Drawing on engineering control theory and the modern theory of nonlinear dynamical systems, system dynamics often involves the development of formal models andmanagement flight simulators� to capture complex dynamics, and to create an environment for learning and policy design. Unlikepureengineering problemsif any existhuman systems present unique challenges, including long time horizons, issues that cross disciplinary boundaries, the need to develop reliable models of human behavior, and the great difficulty of experimental testing. Successful change in social systems also requires the active participation of a wide range of people in the modeling and policy design process, people who often lack technical training. In this paper I discuss requirements for the effective use of system dynamics and illustrate with a successful application to a difficult business issue.

1,555 citations

Book
13 Jan 2012
TL;DR: A new approach to safety, based on systems thinking, that is more effective, less costly, and easier to use than current techniques was proposed by Leveson et al. as discussed by the authors, which is more suited to today's complex, sociotechnical, software-intensive world.
Abstract: A new approach to safety, based on systems thinking, that is more effective, less costly, and easier to use than current techniques.Engineering has experienced a technological revolution, but the basic engineering techniques applied in safety and reliability engineering, created in a simpler, analog world, have changed very little over the years. In this groundbreaking book, Nancy Leveson proposes a new approach to safety?more suited to today's complex, sociotechnical, software-intensive world?based on modern systems thinking and systems theory. Revisiting and updating ideas pioneered by 1950s aerospace engineers in their System Safety concept, and testing her new model extensively on real-world examples, Leveson has created a new approach to safety that is more effective, less expensive, and easier to use than current techniques.Arguing that traditional models of causality are inadequate, Leveson presents a new, extended model of causation (Systems-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes, or STAMP), then shows how the new model can be used to create techniques for system safety engineering, including accident analysis, hazard analysis, system design, safety in operations, and management of safety-critical systems. She applies the new techniques to real-world events including the friendly-fire loss of a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter in the first Gulf War; the Vioxx recall; the U.S. Navy SUBSAFE program; and the bacterial contamination of a public water supply in a Canadian town. Leveson's approach is relevant even beyond safety engineering, offering techniques for ?reengineering? any large sociotechnical system to improve safety and manage risk.

1,448 citations


Network Information
Related Topics (5)
Sustainability
129.3K papers, 2.5M citations
84% related
Empirical research
51.3K papers, 1.9M citations
83% related
Information system
107.5K papers, 1.8M citations
81% related
Qualitative research
39.9K papers, 2.3M citations
80% related
Corporate governance
118.5K papers, 2.7M citations
79% related
Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
202395
2022200
2021377
2020422
2019432
2018441